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4 Things A Potential Employer Will Observe Closely During Business Lunch Or Dinner

Submitted by on August 29, 2012 – 11:35 pmNo Comment | 4,838 views

dinnerEtiquette can be important in a variety of situations in everyday life. Knowing the etiquette in these situations is a clear statement of social status and education. Every now and then, employers will test applicants for their knowledge of etiquette, especially where managerial or sales positions are concerned, with a high exposure to important decision makers.

Perhaps you are applying for a position, and after a long procedure of assessment centers and conversations, you are being invited for lunch or dinner. “Time to relax”, you think. But think twice. Often, such official lunches or dinners are part of the application process, and chances are the employer will closely observe every move you make.

Although there are many facets of etiquette during lunch and dinner, there are a few simple things, which might strongly indicate whether a person knows his/her etiquette or not. Let’s have a look.

The bread

Bread is usually served in slices as an apetizer, or to activate your apetite. You will find a small plate to your left side, where you will put your bread. Usually the bread is served in a basket, which is being handed around. When the basket is handed over to you, you should take the entire basked, take a slice of bread, and then hand it over to your neighbour. Then, break off a little piece with your hands, and put some butter on it, before eating it.

People who do not know the etiquette might take the plate on their right to put the bread on, they might take a slice of bread out of the basked without acually taking the basket, and they will spread butter on the entire slice of bread and then bite it off.


It is good manner, to always clean your mouth with the napkin before taking a sip of your drink. By doing this, you will not or barely leave any stains on the glass you are drinking from.

People who do not know the etiquette will not clean their mouth with a napkin, and leave fatty stains on their glass.


As soon as you sit down at the table, you should spread out the napkin on your lap, and leave it there during the entire dinner. Having it on your lap means you can easily use it to clean your hands or mouth, and you do not have to put something ‘dirty’ on the table. When you stand up for any reason, for example to go to the toilet, you should excuse yourself and leave the napkin on your seat until you return. Never put it on the table while food is still being served, or while people are still eating.

People who do not know the etiquette will either leave the napkin on the table at all times, or they will put it on the table when they stand up while food is still being served.


As soon as you use your cutlery to eat, it should never be put back on the table. This means, that if you make a little pause, you will put your cutlery on your plate with an angle, meaning that you are not finished eating. As soon as you are finished eating, you will put the cutlery parallel on your plate, close to each other. This is also a sign for the waiter that he/she can take your plate. Never build a so-called bridge.

People who do not know the etiquette might build a so-called bridge or put their cutlery on the table when pausing, or they might not put their cutlery on their plate parallel wise.


Not everyone has been brought up with etiquette in this extent, but it can be important for certain professions, and for business as a whole. The four points discussed are easy to remember, and something that is done wrongly by many novices, or people who are not familiar with etiquette. During job interviews, lunch or dinner might prove to be a good method for employers to observe how well applicants are familiar with the etiquette, providing first indications as to how well they blend into the higher levels of society.

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